Marine Engineers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Stan T.Career, Overview

Marine Engineers

Marine Engineers design, develop, and take responsibility for the installation of ship machinery and related equipment including propulsion machines and power supply systems.

Becoming One
Bachelor's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Interest Match

Job description

Marine Engineers design, develop, and take responsibility for the installation of ship machinery and related equipment including propulsion machines and power supply systems.

  • Supervise other engineers and crew members and train them for routine and emergency duties.
  • Perform monitoring activities to ensure that ships comply with international regulations and standards for life-saving equipment and pollution preventatives.
  • Prepare plans, estimates, design and construction schedules, and contract specifications, including any special provisions.
  • Check, test, and maintain automatic controls and alarm systems.
Read more about what does a Marine Engineer really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$98970 per year

Average hourly wage
$48 per hour

Marine Engineers with little to no experience tend to make between $65090 and $74670 while the more experienced ones can earn over $118980 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
CA $61 $126,140
NY $58 $120,860
DC $57 $118,090
AK $56 $116,100
MD $55 $114,010

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Marine Engineer is to move to a higher paying state like CA. Right now, the highest paying states for Marine Engineers are CA, NY, DC, AK and MD.

However, a higher pay at CA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at CA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Marine Engineer is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s degree

We asked other Marine Engineers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Master’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
Read more about how to become a Marine Engineer and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Marine Engineer.

Suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally
Suitable for people who wants independence and likes to work on their own and make decisions
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Very high salary (top 25% highest paid careers)
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

75% of Marine Engineers said they were satisfied with their job and 53% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Thinkers and The Builders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

Learn more about Marine Engineers

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Related career information

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